Why I don’t go to the doctor

Why I don’t go to the doctor unless I absolutely have to:

I had a firm lump that i can feel with my finger, a little under marble sized just behind my tongue going to one side, making it hurt and feel tight to swallow.

Call to primary care doc (one of only three places in town that accept my insurance and would take new adult patients): We can’t see you anytime in the next two weeks.

Visit to immediate care place: Since you have a history of being here with sinus issues and having allergies, and since the strep screen is negative, this is probably just swelling from allergies even though you have no other allergy symptoms right now. Here’s a prescription for claritin and a nasal spray… take some tylenol and a decongestant.

36 hours later… now have a lump the size of a walnut that feels like the edge is directly below my uvula… the entire side of my face is killing me all the way from under cheekbone to lower teeth…. and when I swallow pain shoots through my ear. Left work early in tears and go straight to er.

Pulse is over 100 having been doing nothing but sitting and waiting for an hour, blood pressure is sky high.


ER: Well, we can see a little bit of swelling, think it’s an absess… but we can’t get a visual to know much because its behind the tongue.
(Do you have a dental mirror or something? No.)
So here’s some antibiotics because that would be the first step anyway. Be sure to follow up with your primary care doc on friday or monday at the latest… they will probably need to do a referral to ENT and do some imaging to get a better idea. Here’s 3 days of pain meds in the meantime.

First thing next morning, call primary care doc: We can’t see you for two weeks.
No, we can’t just look at ER notes and skip to referral.
Should you just go back to ER on friday? Well, actually, we have a new PA starting on monday, let me talk with someone who comes in at 9am and call you back.
2:30pm, after no call back, try 1: transferred to someone’s voicemail.
Try 2: Same person answers, put on hold for more than 20 minutes, disconnected.
Try 3: Let me get to a computer… put on hold for 6 1/2 minutes… repeat whole story again to same person… put on hold again for 5 minutes… Ok, we have an appointment for you in a week.

Not sure whether to hope antibiotics are effective enough to knock it down to survive the week…. go back to the er…. or just start calling ent places and see if one will take me and put some pressure for the referral. The insurance website only lists 3 different ENT practices in town that take it… so it’s a short list….

Silly me to expect something partially blocking the throat and causing severe pain to be a priority.


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